• An Alternate Organicism in the Journal "Zodiac," 1965-1974
    Alicia Imperiale

Rinaldo Semino; plans, sections, and details for a road and rail connection across the Strait of Messina, 1969, in Zodiac 22 (1973): 157–58. Courtesy of Edizioni di Comunità.

Zodiac was published in Milan from 1957 to 1973, styled as a "Review of Contemporary Architecture." Editor from 1965 to 1973, Maria Bottero published the work of many architects and engineers whose projects were based on morphological and geometric studies of natural phenomena. In so doing, she highlighted a link between European and American designers, unique in its time. Bottero assembled an extraordinary group of international architects around these themes, including: the influence of natural systems on design in Zodiac 19; tensile, space, and pneumatic structures in Zodiac 21; and the theme of "light structures" in Zodiac 22. Bottero's editorial vision for these three volumes is of special significance to today's advances in design, as they yield new traditions through computation; the research presented here will culminate in an essay and planning for a future exhibition.

Alicia Imperiale, PhD, is assistant professor of architectural history, theory, and design at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. She holds a BArch from Pratt Institute; an MFA in combined media from Hunter College, the City University of New York; and an MA and PhD from Princeton University. Imperiale’s design and written work focuses on the impact of traditional and digital technologies on art, architecture, representation, fabrication, and urbanism from World War II to the present. Aspects of this research have been presented in her book New Flatness: Surface Tension in Digital Architecture. Her other publications include: "Seminal Space: Getting under the Digital Skin," in RE: SKIN; "Organic Italy? The Troubling Case of Rinaldo Semino Architect" in Perspecta 43; "Anne Tyng: Dynamic Symmetries" in Anne Tyng: Inhabiting Geometry; and "Stupid Little Automata!" in Architecture and Culture, among others. Imperiale is cocurator of the exhibition and catalog Clip, Stamp, Fold: The Architecture of Little Magazines, 196X–197X.